If nothing else, participation in NaNoWriMo has motivated me to create a public face for this book, in the form of a cover and synopsis. For the cover I chose a sketch that I created earlier this year. I’m rather fond of it. And while it does not specifically illustrate any part of the story per se, it does symbolize a number of themes and concepts that underpin much of what I’ve written. Just what those themes are I will keep under my cap, but I present the cover itself for your contemplation.
As for a synopsis, I wrote and re-wrote what I thought would make an intriguing back-cover style blurb rather than a true summary. A summary would certainly give away far too much, and would likely require a few thousand words itself to cram it all in. Instead I opted for a brief introduction of the two primary characters and their individual calls to adventure, as Joseph Campbell might describe them. I think it strikes an effective balance between satisfying curiosity and building intrigue. For your convenience, I give it to you here:
Bitter winter holds sway over the realm of Aldered. To provide for his young family, Ashdoran, member of a venerable but failing brotherhood of Wardens, embarks on a treacherous mission to hunt ridgewolves and claim the bounty set upon them. But dangers greater than wolves are stirring in the desolate western borderlands. When Ashdoran discovers a village sacked and burned, he is forced to set aside his bounty-hunting and take up the ancient duty of the Wardens, or else consign the survivors – and their kidnapped children – to their dooms.
As Ashdoran’s return home stretches long overdue, his wife Isador fears the worst and grows distraught, but receives unforeseen guidance from a travelling soothsayer. While her husband battles for his life in the distant west, danger looms closer to home for her as well. Compelled into action by events and heartened by the soothsayer’s counsel, Isador and her young son set out on a fateful path, one that could both reunite her family and deliver them from their poverty. But little does Isador know that once ventured, that path will ultimately sweep both her and her husband into a web of intrigue, treachery and war, far beyond their modest beginnings.
I will likely continue to re-write this blurb again and again, as it barely hints at the much broader scope of the book, though I’m not sure it needs to do so. But as a beginning, I’m satisfied with it. And my wife did say that she was intrigued, so its got that going for it as well.
As for my first day’s progress, I managed a respectable 2,600 words, this post not included. That brings the draft up to a hefty 363,600 words. When it’s finally done it’ll truly be a monster of a thing, but I like to think of it as having plenty of raw material to work with.
Tomorrow, day two!